Hi guys, wow what another day. First of all, I woke up this morning feeling AWFUL. Like, totally sick. I could hardly swallow and my glands were super duper swollen. Of course I get sick right now, huh?! I felt it coming on yesterday but pushed it aside and then this morning it was like bam! So, no run…I just took it easy and had some breakfast first thing before heading over to my parent’s house for another long day.
A toasted ezekiel muffin with raw almond butter, raspberry preserves and a strawberry chobani on the side.
On the way to my parent’s house, I stopped at the health food store and got my mom a smoothie with protein powder, banana, raspberry and pineapple (she needed this!) and myself a juice with beet, apple, celery and ginger. I also took a wheatgrass shot at the store to get rid of this funky cold.
I was so incredibly touched when I pulled into my driveway—-my dad had driven John’s car (the love of his life) up onto our yard and had put all his favorite surfing stuff around it. Amazing.
Everyone always said John had two speeds in this old car—-fast and faster. He LOVED this car and totally beat it to hell. All of his friends fondly refer to it as the “XRS” and, man, he went fast. All the time. Gunning that engine and just taking off. Its amazing he lived this long! My dad is going to fix up the car and drive it himself….John would be so happy.
Lunch was a delicious salad my aunt made with greens, chicken, bell peppers, feta and tomatoes.…I topped mine with hummus and had a piece of baguette (made by someone covering my shift at Greenwise) and berries alongside
And then our dear, dear friend Anne arrived from Ohio. Anne was John and my NANNY waaaaay back when John was only three and I was eight. She nannied us for two years but has stayed best friends with our family and whenever my parents had to go away on business she would always stay with us. She’s like my second mom and I couldn’t have been happier when, only four months ago, SHE had her first baby!!! His name is Harold Eugene Fletcher III. Can’t you just see it?!
And I bought a new dress for the memorial tomorrow—-
The second I put this on I knew John would have LOVED this dress. He loved blue and it reminds me of the ocean, his favorite place ever. I absolutely refuse to wear black since I am celebrating my brother’s life tomorrow. I also got a headband with a bright pink flower to wear. John lived every second of his life to the absolute fullest and he loved bright, fun colors. This dress was also on clearance at Anthropologie….who could resist?!
We had tons of family come in throughout the afternoon and about 30 more students from John’s class came to our house as well. I can’t even begin to tell you how much having these kids at our home means to us. They are wonderful. The most mature, kind and giving 19 year olds that I have ever met.
I think the thing that touched me the most out of anything was this though: last year John’s good friend Nick moved to ITALY with his parents. His dad works for the goverment and they were going to live in Rome for two years. Of course John was crushed and the last time they saw each other was last summer when Nick came back to visit for a week. They hadn’t spoken in the past month because, well, you know how kids are. Facebook only goes so far when you live on opposite ends of the world! Well friends, Nick flew ALL THE WAY HERE just for the memorial service tomorrow. All the way from Rome!!!!!! Can you even believe it??!!!!! He bought a ticket last night and came to our home straight from the airport this evening. When he walked through that door he just held my mom for what seemed like hours and they cried in each other’s arms. What a guy. John had the best friends ever. I can’t even begin to believe it.
Dinner was brought over to us again by another neighbor—-catered by a spanish restaurant in town, Valencia Garden. There was enough rice, chicken, beans, plantains (!!), salad and bread to feed 25 people, which was great because we actually had about that amount! Here’s my plate with yellow rice and chicken topped with black beans and hot sauce, with salad and plantains on the side.
I had two glasses of red wine and a half of a cookie (x2) for dessert—
Boy, I’ve eaten my fair share of cookies during the past few days!!! Seriously. I’m going to turn into a cookie. And I’ve had a lot of wine. But its good. Its good to eat and feel normal, even though everything is broken and seemingly beyond repair. As I keep saying, your support is my strength. Your calls, emails and comments keep me going when I start to break down inside. A HUGE thank you to Caitlin, Meghann, Kath, Tina and Heather for gorgeous flowers and to Sabrina and Cory for COOKIES!
And your cards……I haven’t gone through all the mail yet but we all will sit down together here once this week is over to read your sweet words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Tomorrow is going to be very, very, very hard. I know this. But I also know that God has given me strength to get through because, even though all this REALLY sucks, I still have to hold true to the fact that God will never give us anything we cannot handle. The celebration of life service is at 2 pm and all John’s friends got together with their chorus teacher at school to sing a song and several friends are sharing memories. After the service everyone is coming back to our house for a reception, being catered by a delicious deli, all put together by other mom’s. The love, kindness and support brings me to tears.
I leave you with this. This moved me SO MUCH and I cannot help but to share it with you—-
One of our neighbors that lives across the street has three little boys….we do not know them very well at all (I’ve never spoken to them before!). The oldest boy is six years old and plays t-ball. Well, last week this child was being bullied a little bit apparently, and being told he was a “sissy” to still play t-ball and he had never made a run before. John, of course, couldn’t have known this information. It was impossible for him to have known. Then, just the other day, OUT OF THE BLUE, John was driving by their house and the little boy was sitting out on the steps in his t-ball uniform, looking all sad. John stops the car, rolls down the window and yells out to the little boy, “Hey! You look like a real baseball player in that uniform!” The boy instantly felt so proud, so full of life, that a “big kid” would ever say such a thing to him! He went to his game that evening, shoulders held high and hit his first ever home run.
I cried when I was told that story. John was just so kind. He never knew that the boy had been bullied…..and why would he randomly choose then to roll down his window and talk to him? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks—John was an angel. That was God in John changing lives. He touched everyone’s life he came into contact with and that was his last mark on this earth before God called him home.
I can’t get it out of my mind. Oh, John. I love you so much.